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Philosophy and sustainability science collide

February 18, 2019

ASU assistant professor part of project to develop an understanding between sustainability scientists and philosophers

It isn’t every day the humanities and sciences combine their research, but when they do something new is created and explored. Such will be the case for a new research project, “Philosophy of Sustainability Science,” which will have Arizona State University’s C. Tyler DesRoches on the team of researchers.

DesRoches is an assistant professor of philosophy in the School of Historical, Philosophical and Religious Studies and assistant professor of sustainabilityDesRoches is also a senior sustainability scholar in the Julie Ann Wrigley Global Institute of Sustainability. and human well-being in the School of Sustainability. His team was recently awarded a grant from the Helsinki Institute of Sustainability Science in Finland.

The project will look to develop an understanding between sustainability scientists and philosophers to gain an integration of models and concepts from the different disciplines. Specifically, it is looking to focus on behavioral economics and ecological/environmental economics.

“Within philosophy, we hope that more philosophers realize sustainability is not just a buzzword but something that fundamentally challenges our ways of thinking about science, society and our relationship to nature,” said DesRoches. “More widely, we hope sustainability science will become more methodologically and ethically well-grounded on the progress philosophers have been making in philosophy of science. That is, we hope that there’s more interdisciplinary integration between science and philosophy.”

He became interested in interdisciplinarity and sustainability as research fields that philosophers of science have often neglected. As a philosopher of science himself, he hopes to create more dialogue between philosophy and sustainability.

“Sustainability is a concept that crystallizes the numerous challenges that we as a civilization face and are going to face in the coming centuries,” said DesRoches. “We want to do philosophy that matters, not merely the kind of esoteric philosophy in the academy — though we still love knowledge for its own sake.”

He will be working alongside other philosophers of science, including Michiru Nagatsu from the Helsinki Institute of Sustainability, University of Helsinki; Taylor Davis from the Department of Philosophy, Purdue University; and Robert Lepenies from the Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research.

Nagatsu and DesRoches share a background in the history and philosophy of economics and have known each other for a long time. The chance to work on this project together has been fun for them. 

Tyler DesRoches

C. Tyler DesRoches, assistant professor of philosophy and of sustainability and human well-being.

“[DesRoches] always replies to my email instantly, like one does to a WhatsApp chat or something,” said Nagatsu. “He's hyperactive. Perhaps, because of that, I don't feel that we are more than 5,000 miles away. Maybe I talk to him more often than I do to some colleagues down the corridor.”

Together, along with the other members of their team, they plan to write a few special issues in philosophy and sustainability journals. DesRoches will also be writing a monograph titled, “Sustainability Without Sacrifice: A Philosophical Analysis of Human Well-Being and Consumption,” which is under contract with Oxford University Press.

Overall, the research team hopes to inform and advance practices by identifying real challenges and ways to tackle them. When asked how the research would be compiled when completed, DesRoches stated the following:

“This is an ongoing interdisciplinary research program that does not have any clear end point. I hope we have a manuscript or two by the end of 2019.”

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ASU students access the art of a diverse human story

February 18, 2019

A new course examines crafted creations while deconstructing the hidden cultural meanings behind their designs

“A lot of students think we’re just going to talk about art and aesthetics, but I challenge them to think about the cultural importance of art. How was it made, why was it made, how was it used?”

This is the mindset Joel Palka — a recently hired associate professor at the School of Human Evolution and Social Change — wants students to bring with them when they walk into his new course, Anthropology and Art (ASB 350).

Throughout the semester, students will explore the art forms of peoples from around the world, focusing not on how the art looks, but rather on the context behind it. Examples include cedar wood masks from indigenous groups of the Northwest U.S. and their connections to identity; poured-bronze sculptures in India and their treatment as living entities; and the shields of the Asmat people of New Guinea, which are seen as having a supernatural power to protect in battle.

Even art from the Western world has its own context, says Palka. And although we may not think our society associates spiritual forces with objects the way others do, there are examples that prove that’s not entirely true.

“I tell my students about studies where a person offers two sweaters to university students — saying one is off the rack from the store, and the other from a convicted killer. Nobody would wear the killer’s sweater,” he said.

photo of contemporary Maya ceramics

Contemporary Lacandon Mayan incense burners from Naja, Chiapas, Mexico. After used in cave shrines, they were abandoned there. Photo courtesy of Joel Palka

Palka himself specializes in Mayan art, another topic covered in the course. He’s interested in Mayan culture change from the time of the Spanish conquest in the early 16th century to the present, so his research involves both archaeological and anthropological work in the rainforests of Chiapas, Mexico.

He also finds it extremely valuable to include the descendant community from where he works in his research.

“When we excavate architecture and artifacts, they provide cultural interpretation of what we find,” he said.

The necessity of diverse perspectives to capture the full meaning of something is a principle he now instills in his students as well. Each week, ASB 350 students read about art from another culture and then write about and discuss their take on major themes, how the art is important to its society, and what they do and don’t agree with in the reading.

“It’s neat because everybody sees something different,” Palka said. “Anytime we talk, we’re going to have anywhere from five to 15 main topics of discussion.”

He also assigns students a research project based on the art of Teotihuacan, which was on display at the Phoenix Art Museum during the first month of the semester. He believes it’s important to get up close and personal with the art whenever possible.

photo of Palka practicing with Maya bow and arrow

Palka practices with a native Lacandon Maya bow and arrow outside a friend's house at Mensabak, Chiapas, Mexico.

“Don’t think you can be a good art student just by reading books,” he said. “If you don’t see the real thing, you’re missing out on a lot.”

“When I was an archaeology student, my professors taught about the ‘Dancing Figures’ sculpted panels that depict sacrificial victims from Monte Albán in Oaxaca, Mexico. I always thought they were like this big,” he said, gesturing with his hands an arm-length apart. “But when you go to the actual site, you see that they’re double life-size.”

Palka’s favorite lecture to teach is inspired by the work of a fellow ASU faculty member and anthropologist, Associate Professor Miguel Astor-Aguilera of the School of Historical, Philosophical and Religious Studies.

Astor-Aguilera turns conventional thinking on its head, says Palka, by arguing that the Maya did not hold their art as sacred and disposed of it once it had served its function.

“It was not supposed to be put in a museum,” Palka said. “It was supposed to rot.”

By the end of the course, his goal is to have transformed the way students think about and appreciate the human component behind these masterful pieces, enriching what could otherwise be just a visual experience.

“I hope that, when they go to a museum, they look at art in a different way,” he said. “Not just as something beautiful from one artist, but as part of a larger story of human culture.”

Top photo courtesy of Pixabay.com

Mikala Kass

Editorial Communications Coordinator , School of Human Evolution and Social Change


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ASU student uses theater to give voice to people on the margins of society

ASU doctoral student uses theater to empower those without a voice.
McGilvery: “Everything we do, we like it to be performative and for healing.”
February 18, 2019

Dontá McGilvery finds passion in teaching African-American theater, community work

Dontá McGilvery has devoted his life to finding people who live at the margins of society and giving them a voice through theater.

“Performance has the power to transform,” he tells his class.

And he’s harnessing that power in many ways to tell stories.

McGilvery is pursuing a PhD in theater for youth at Arizona State University and was recently honored with ASU’s 2019 Martin Luther King Jr. Student Servant-Leadership Award. Several years ago, he started a nonprofit in his hometown of Dallas to help people who are homeless — an issue he learned about firsthand after living in their community for a year. After coming to ASU in 2017, he co-founded a community theater group, and this semester, he launched a course on African-American theater for undergraduates.

“I noticed that in my own classes, we didn’t talk much about African-Americans’ contributions to the field of theater so I began studying it on my own, and then I would include it in class,” he said. “Often, there were things that the students and even the professors didn’t know.”

So he reached out to the School of Film, Dance and Theatre in the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts to ask about teaching African-American theater, and he received enthusiastic approval.

“What my students like is learning about something they never heard of, in all of their education,” he said. “To me, that’s encouraging.”

So far this semester, the class has covered the genre of plays about lynchings, including “A Sunday Morning in the South,” written by Georgia Douglas Johnson in 1925.

“If we understand that in the 1920s, there were black playwrights who wrote anti-lynching plays to combat what was happening at that time, the class can connect that with what’s happening today with black and brown bodies having their lives taken by police,” he said.

The students have learned about the connection among African-American artists, including the play “A Raisin in the Sun” by Lorraine Hansberry, whose title comes from the poetry of Langston Hughes.

“It’s a diverse group of students, and we’re talking about things that the African-American students can identify with and then lead the discussion,” he said.

The class studied the 1916 play “Rachel,” by Angelina Grimke, about a young black woman who, overcome by the horrors of racism, vows never to have a child. That was especially poignant to Leslie Campbell, a senior who’s in the class.

“It deals with the fragility of the black woman and the black woman’s negotiation of herself in white society in the early 1900s and particularly the black mother’s desire to protect the black child’s innocence, which I think is a struggle that rings true even today,” said Campbell, who is from the Bahamas and is majoring in theater and global health.

“In this class, I’ve appreciated being able to share the knowledge that I learned growing up in the islands and our history with slavery, and then being able to relate this information to my African-American and non-black counterparts and having them say, ‘I didn’t even think about that,’” she said.

“Dontá takes the time to break down the dynamics of how these systems work and to see how it’s being played out even today.”

Donta McGilvery teaches African-American theater at ASU.

Dontá McGilvery works with a group of students in the undergraduate class he teaches on African-American theater in the Nelson Fine Arts Center on the Tempe campus. Photo by Charlie Leight/ASU Now



McGilvery said that he’s always pursuing one goal: “I’m trained to see that when you read a text or enter a space, the first thing you want to spot is whose voice is absent from the narrative and then investigate why.”

That helped lead to the Sleeveless Acts Drama Company, which he started in 2017 with fellow student Claire Redfield, who is pursuing a Master of Fine Arts in theater for youth. Their idea won an entrepreneurship grant from the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts.

“We had this idea of starting a theater company that amplifies voices in marginalized communities, telling their stories using drama,” he said.

“We tear away the sleeves that keeps people’s history hidden.”

Last year, the company created a production about African-American history featuring a cast that ranged in age from 13 to 70, he said. Currently, they’re working on staging a performance later this spring to celebrate Eastlake Park in Phoenix, a historic center of the city’s African-American community.

“Everything we do, we like it to be performative and for healing,” he said.

The company also performs in churches in central and south Phoenix, a mission that is central to McGilvery, who also is a minister.

It was his personal faith journey that led him to make a startling decision eight years ago, when he was in graduate school at Southern Methodist University: He gave away all his possessions and lived for a year with people who were homeless.

“It was important that I took on that project because of my spiritual calling as a minister,” he said. “I understood Jesus was homeless, and I wanted to understand why he decided to live a homeless life and, by being homeless, how could it give me a different perspective on the world.”

He found that the homeless were friendly, supportive of each other and, usually, regular people who came upon hardship.

“The first day I was homeless, I didn’t know how to start, so I just went downtown and laid down on the sidewalk to go to sleep,” he said. “And another homeless guy named Robert tapped me on the shoulder and walked me to the shelter. He told me how he fell on hard times.”

McGilvery spent his nights in a shelter, but because his grad school classes were in the evenings, all the beds were filled by the time he arrived, so he slept in a chair in the overflow room.

In conjunction with living on the streets, McGilvery started a nonprofit called the Dallas Improvement Association, which recruited volunteers to experience homelessness for short periods, as well as helped homeless people with donations and meals.

“We didn’t go to the shelter — we went to those people who were strung out and wouldn’t go to a shelter,” he said. “We were always searching for the most voiceless within the group that has no voice.”

When the year was up, it was hard to leave his friends and transition back to a more typical life.

“My heart is now more compassionate to the people who suffer the most. When I drive in my car and see someone on the corner, I wonder, ‘What is their story?’

“And I look at the other cars and wonder about the assumptions those people put on them.”

McGilvery’s work drew attention. He spoke at a conference held by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which later partnered with the Dallas Improvement Association and donated more than 1,000 computers to low-income schools. He also spoke at a U.S. Army War College security seminar about his experiences.

“I talked about how homeless people are marginalized and how cities are intentionally pushing them to the side,” he said.

Eventually, McGilvery would like to be a professor of theater, but he has a few years left in his doctoral program.

As he continues his outreach, one memory stays with him: When he was an undergrad, he was riding a bus and sat near a man who was a drug user. The man started asking McGilvery questions about being a student. He said, “Do you want to get a PhD?”

“I was like, ‘Sure, if it comes around.’ He said, ‘If you become a doctor, just make sure you actually heal someone.’

“And I thought that was profound. It’s about, ‘What am I doing to bring about healing in society and in individuals?’ ”

He has never forgotten that interaction.

“That kick-started my passion for justice and speaking for the voiceless.”

Top image: Dontá McGilvery, a doctoral student in the theater for youth program at ASU, has launched a course on African-American theater this semester and also co-founded a community theater company. Photo by Charlie Leight/ASU Now

Mary Beth Faller

reporter , ASU Now


ASU and MacArthur ‘genius' poet Natalie Diaz shows the power of language, humanities

February 14, 2019

“What is the language we need to live right now?”

That’s the question Arizona State University poet Natalie Diaz posed to an audience of some 250 students, faculty and community members during a presentation of her works at Old Main on the Tempe campus this week. ASU poet Natalie Diaz reads a selection of newer works for an audience at Old Main. ASU poet, professor and 2018 MacArthur fellow Natalie Diaz reads newer works to a group of some 250 students, faculty and community members at Old Main. Photo by Bruce Matsunaga Download Full Image

Diaz, who is the current Maxine and Jonathan Marshall Chair in Modern and Contemporary Poetry and an associate professor in the Department of English, was one of 25 John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation “genius grant” fellows in 2018. Drawing on her experiences growing up on the Fort Mojave Indian Village in Needles, California, and navigating indigenous, Latinx and queer identities, her work challenges the belief systems of contemporary American culture.

A collaboration between the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences, the Department of English and the Virginia G. Piper Center for Creative Writing, the event marked her first reading at ASU.

Dean of Humanities Jeffrey Cohen said it celebrated Diaz’s work on its own and its influence on the college.

“When the news came of her ‘genius’ award, we felt like the world was catching up with something we at ASU have always known,” he said. “Natalie has been doing important teaching and work here for several years that has enabled our students to thrive along with her.”

Even without last year’s MacArthur award, that impact is evident. Diaz’s work has amassed far-reaching acclaim over the last decade and since the release of her first collection, "When My Brother Was an Aztec," by Copper Canyon Press in 2012. But in that first question at Old Main, she invited audience members to think beyond the written word.

“Poetry for me, the least of it is what is happening on my page,” she said. “That is only where it begins.”

Language as a three-dimensional force is a concept Diaz has explored a lot. As a former professional basketball player, she has compared writing to the physical force of playing the sport. In addition to her own writing, she has worked with ASU’s Center for Indian Education to preserve the Mojave language by documenting stories and transcribing conversations with elders.

It is within that cross-boundary lens that Diaz encouraged people at the reading to think of poetry. As society continues to shift, she said, language is a tool to redefine the world.

“Our young people learning languages are now charged with creating new words to describe the things in their life,” she said. “That’s why I think poetry is so important — it is concerned with every single word, and that’s why the humanities are also so important.”

Likewise, Cohen said Diaz’s forward-thinking outlook on language helped usher in a new era of learners.

“One of the many things I admire about Professor Diaz is that she is student-centered,” he said. “Much of what she does here is ensuring that the next generation has every opportunity to flourish.”

In order to stay relevant, Cohen said, humanities studies must resonate with students themselves. Scholars like Diaz exemplify the potential.

“Many of our ASU students are first-generation, and often students of color, and sometimes lacking in models for the various kinds of futures they can make,” he said. “When they look at her, many will see what is possible for themselves.”

That was the case for Laramie Kisto, a Chandler-Gilbert Community College student and member of the Gila River Indian Community, to which Diaz also belongs.

“I’m studying social work, and being able to express my past through poetry is an outlet I’m interested in,” said Kisto, who plans to attend ASU after completing courses at Chandler-Gilbert. “Coming here and seeing someone from my community showed me that there could be an entry for me, too.”

Diaz read a handful of newer works that touched on everything from basketball and family crises to police violence against Native Americans and the very physical sensation of moving one’s hips.

Napoleon Marrietta, a graduate student in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences’ American Indian Studies program, said the breadth of Diaz’s selection spoke to the power of language in activism.

“My thesis is focused on indigenous activism in the Phoenix area and how we implement different voices to fight for a cause,” he said. “I think poetry can shed some light on a lot of the things we deal with at home.”

Writer, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences


Is your brain lying to you?

What magicians can teach scientists about observation

February 14, 2019

Observation is one of the most powerful tools that scientists use. They meticulously perform experiments, analyze data and interpret the results, then repeat that process hundreds of times.

But what if our brains are lying to us? Can scientists trust their observations? Parag Mallick is a computer scientist and researcher at Stanford Medicine and a world-renowned magician. Download Full Image

Parag Mallick, a computer scientist and researcher at Stanford Medicine and a world-renowned magician, explored these questions during a recent visit to Arizona State University. In “An Evening of Science and Magic,” sponsored by ASU’s Biodesign Institute, Mallick explained the concept of inattentional blindness to a full house at the Marston Exploration Theater.

What is inattentional blindness, and what can magicians teach us about science? Plenty, according to Mallick.

Inattentional blindness occurs when an individual fails to perceive objects or events because their attention is focused somewhere else. Magicians are experts at taking advantage of this gap in perception. Sometimes scientists may fall victim to this, researching the wrong thing at the wrong time because it made sense at the time to look at it.

“By being extremely cognizant of these gaps in perception, we might do a better job of avoiding them and interpreting our observations,” he said. “We then can do a better job of designing better experiments by becoming aware of these holes in our perceptions.”

Parag Mallick and Joshua LaBaer

Biodesign Institute Executive Director Joshua LaBaer (left) participates in a trick during Parag Mallick's "An Evening of Science and Magic" event. Photo by Andy DeLisle/ASU

Mallick became enamored with magic as a child when he was gifted a magic kit. His childhood hobby transformed into something more serious during college and graduate school when he formed a juggling group called Students Against Gravity. He also began taking classes at the Magic Castle in Hollywood, a clubhouse for the Academy of Magical Arts. He spent years perfecting his craft and started doing magic all over the city and eventually all over the world.

Mallick, now an associate professor who heads a cancer research lab at Stanford University, believes in tackling the impossible. He said magicians have long been willing to embrace the ludicrous in their performances, and this frees up their mind to explore more possibilities. Scientists should do the same.

“Scientists are in the habit of taking things that are impossible and making them possible,” Mallick said. He said a very good magician is meticulous. Just like a scientist will perform an experiment over and over again, a magician will repeatedly practice a trick until he or she perfects it. The extreme attention to detail for both professions results in the greatest successes of today.

“When you embrace the completely ludicrous to find inspiration, it frees your mind and you’re allowed to explore a much wider swath of possibilities,” Mallick said.

Joshua LaBaer, executive director of the Biodesign Institute, was excited to have the Science and Magic event come to ASU because it forces scientists and others to think outside of the box.

Parag Mallick and Joshua LaBaer

Joshua LaBaer volunteers for a trick during Parag Mallick's "An Evening of Science and Magic" lecture show. Mallick is a computer scientist and researcher at Stanford Medicine and a world-renowned magician. Photo by Andy DeLisle/ASU

“Research is all about discovering new things, including new patterns,” he said. “For scientists and researchers, we need to always remember that we cannot take the mental shortcut of assuming that what we see must be part of the previous pattern.”

LaBaer said science and magic are two places where we need to break the pattern-recognition process.

“We like to think of our brain as an open, unbiased instrument that collects data from our senses and then fully analyzes and interprets them. But, in fact, in order to reduce work and enhance response time, our brain cheats a little,” he said.

As a scientist, even if the data suggests the previous pattern, he said, it’s lazy to accept this without proving it.

“It is the magician’s job to trick us into believing the impossible explanation,” LaBaer said. “It is the scientist’s job to determine which explanation is correct.”

Throughout the evening, Mallick performed magic tracks that included holding a glass of water upside down without spilling any water, and solicited volunteers from the audience for a game of three-card monte and other card tricks. He closed his show by addressing some of the gaps in perception that the audience may have missed, which was met with wonder and applause by young and old alike.

Lastly, he reminded the audience that scientists are indeed making tremendous progress and saving many, many lives from cancer and other illnesses.

“I dare anyone to prove me wrong,” he said.

Jean Clare Sarmiento

Communications Specialist , Biodesign Institute


Watch ‘The Rest I Make Up’ with director at FilmBar in Phoenix

February 13, 2019

Michelle Memran met playwright Maria Irene Fornes two decades ago. The plan was to interview Fornes, who has been called the greatest and least-known dramatist of our time, for an article on the relationship between playwrights and critics. The result was a long-lasting friendship and an award-winning feature documentary, which Memran will screen March 14 at FilmBar in Phoenix.

“Just as Irene didn’t set out to become a playwright, I never set out to become a filmmaker,” Memran said on the film’s website. The project started one afternoon in August 2003, when the two friends visited Brighton Beach with a Hi8 camera. Photo of Maria Irene Fornes and filmmaker Michelle Memran Maria Irene Fornes and filmmaker Michelle Memran in Seattle. Photo by Michael Smith Download Full Image

“Irene’s response to the camera and my response to filming her was a beautiful surprise for us both,” Memran said. “Initially the film was our way to keep the creative process alive in each of us, and the process­­ — at least at the time­­ — was very much the product.”

Fornes had written more than 40 plays, won nine OBIE awards and mentored thousands of playwrights across the globe. But she had stopped writing due to memory loss and was suffering from undiagnosed Alzheimer’s disease. “The Rest I Make Up” follows Fornes and her memories, weaving together the present with the past, all the while “moving mentor and student toward an ever-deepening connection in the face of forgetting.” 

“Today I am able to see clearly the reason I stayed committed to the project years after I stopped filming (due to Irene’s advancing dementia),” Memran said. “The reason I kept working with the tapes, combing through hundreds of hours of footage, was because there was a story I had to tell. Eventually I met an editor­­ — Melissa Neidich­­ — who cared as deeply for the material as I did, and what we unearthed was a story about the power of friendship and creativity, and what it means to remain an artist through all the vicissitudes of one’s life.”


The film premiered one year ago at the Museum of Modern Art’s Doc Fortnight 2018 in New York, and since then it has won numerous awards, including AARP's inaugural Silver Image Award for a film that "exceptionally portrays an individual 50+ who is multidimensional and defies stereotypes." The New Yorker’s Richard Brody named it one of the best movies of 2018 and in his review wrote, “The resulting film is a profound, tragic, yet joyful vision of art. It’s more than the portrait of an artist (or even of two); it’s a revelation and exaltation of the artistic essence, of the very nature of an artist’s life as an unending act of creation in itself.”

The ASU School of Film, Dance and Theatre and the Virginia G. Piper Center for Creative Writing are hosting a screening of "The Rest I Make Up," at 6:30 p.m. March 14 at FilmBar in Phoenix. Memran will be in attendance and give a talk at the screening.

The Desert Southwest Chapter of the Alzheimer's Association also will be at the event to answer questions and give information about the local chapter.

This event is free and open to the public, but registration for a free ticket is encouraged. If space allows for walk-ups, they will be accommodated on the night of the event.

Sarah A. McCarty

Communications and marketing coordinator, School and Film, Dance and Theatre, Herberger Institute


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In the face of climate chaos, writers find grief and hope

February 12, 2019

ASU climate-fiction contest and book tackle the human consequences of climate change

In the midst of increasing chaos caused by climate change, from devastating hurricanes to deadly polar vortexes, the literary genre of climate fiction offers stories that capture our anxieties, broaden our scope of empathy to people experiencing disaster in far-flung places and even point the way to hopeful futures where we’ve responded to climate chaos with ingenuity and compassion.

Arizona State University's 2018 Everything Change Climate Fiction Contest challenged writers from around the world to submit stories that provided glimpses of the consequences of climate change on the ground, for actual people in specific places. Climate change is both multifarious and monolithic: It makes itself known differently in different places, but it’s also one big thing that we’re all living through. Fiction can be a powerful way to make climate change and its effects visible and visceral.

The contest’s winner is Barbara Litkowski of Zionsville, Indiana, who wrote “Monarch Blue,” a thrilling story that’s both elegiac about what we’ve lost as a result of environmental degradation and angry about how climate chaos deepens existing inequalities around race, gender, social class and national origin. The story appears in "Everything Change: An Anthology of Climate Fiction, Volume II," alongside nine other pieces of short fiction, along with a foreword from renowned science fiction author Kim Stanley Robinson, who served as the lead judge for the contest.

Robinson has referred to the current climate predicament as the “emergency century,” a historical moment that demands decisive, coordinated action to avert a crisis that threatens both human civilization and Earth’s entire biosphere. The editors of "Everything Change," Angie Dell and Joey Eschrich, argue in the anthology’s introduction that stories are a crucial tool in the face of this global challenge: “To achieve the cultural groundswell and political momentum to change ourselves in the face of a changing climate, we need stories.”

Download the anthology, along with an entire list of winners.

Litkowski, who holds an MFA in creative writing from Butler University and has published fiction in a variety of venues, including Subtle Fiction and Blue Lake Review, says that “personalizing abstract issues” like climate change “makes them more relatable and, consequently, more actionable.”

The 2018 contest, ASU’s second, received 540 submissions from more than 60 countries. Winners were selected through a multistage judging process involving a variety of ASU experts, in disciplines ranging from history, political science and creative writing to sustainability and oceanography.

Among the contest’s finalists was Leah Newsom, an MFA candidate in fiction at ASU and outreach coordinator for the Arizona Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies. Her story, “Orphan Bird,” considers the effects of environmental pollution and climate change both on California’s Salton Sea and on women’s bodies, through the eyes of a young woman who is pregnant, surveying a mostly forgotten and bleak landscape decimated by human activity and mismanagement.

The contest and the anthology are presented by ASU’s Imagination and Climate Futures Initiative, a partnership of the Center for Science and the Imagination and the Virginia G. Piper Center for Creative Writing.

Barbara Litkowski

Barbara Litkowski, winner of the 2018 Everything Change Climate Fiction Contest, is shown near Chimney Rock.

Litkowski talked more with ASU Now about the inspiration behind “Monarch Blue,” the social and political impact of climate fiction and hope in the face of disaster.

Question: What inspired you to write “Monarch Blue”?

Answer: Ever since Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD) began threatening honeybee colonies, I’ve been concerned about the vulnerability of our insect population. One of the first questions I asked when writing “Monarch Blue” was: What would happen if extreme temperatures and changing weather patterns disrupted delicate relationships between plants and pollinators? That question led to many more. How would ordinary people respond to food shortages? How would agricultural production adapt? And so on.

The monarch butterfly image comes from my childhood. My sister was an avid butterfly collector, and she and I would roam the woods behind our house netting skippers, monarchs and, if we got lucky, a swallowtail or two. Monarchs were more common then. Good specimens were sealed in a killing jar that had a cotton ball, drenched in poison, taped to the lid. By morning, the butterflies’ wings and legs were so stiff they needed to be chemically relaxed for mounting.

Q: The story weaves together climate change with issues of gender, immigration and labor. For you, how does climate chaos relate to social inequality?

A: Last year when I was writing “Monarch Blue,” I was also teaching a first-year seminar at Butler University called “Poverty in America.” So naturally, I began to speculate on how climate change might increase social and economic inequality. Two documentaries that highlight the plight of seasonal workers, "Harvest of Shame" and "Food Chain$," had a big impact on the way I portrayed migrant life.

It’s an uncomfortable fact that a disproportionate number of single mothers and minorities live in poverty. It’s also sad but true that single mothers and minorities often work at low-paying, unskilled jobs. Project these statistics into the “Monarch Blue” future and you’ll find “tumbleweed women,” willing to risk carcinogenic contamination and infertility to feed their families. Only Brie, a runaway with affluent, supportive parents, has any chance of upward mobility.

Q: “Monarch Blue” takes place in the southwest United States. Have you ever spent any time in this part of the country? Did you do any special research about the geography, climate and culture of the region?

A: Although I was born in San Diego, I grew up in the Midwest. A road trip through Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and California provided the contrasting visual images I used in my settings: dying towns and flourishing orchards, gritty parking lots and endless rows of fruit and nut trees.

Most of my research involved looking up different types of edible plants and reading about their reproductive habits — I always try to make my stories as realistic as I can. I also collected random information — now in a mental file folder labeled “Things I Hope I Never Need to Know” — on topics like how to operate a bucket truck.

Q: Climate change is a visceral experience in the story: bodies wracked and skin stained by chemical exposure, our agricultural system and food supply under threat. What were you hoping to communicate to readers about the effects of climate change on our bodies and health?

A: I suppose I’m trying to convey what esteemed science fiction writer, Margaret Atwood, calls “everything change,” the idea that climate change affects all aspects of human existence: economies, social relationships and even health and diet. I chose visceral images to illustrate some potential biological risks, specifically contamination and malnutrition. I also used food imagery to highlight potential cultural risks. Brie has vivid memories of holiday feasts and dreams about pies that are no longer possible. Lastly, I used food to show how we relate to other people. Some of us hide our Halloween candy; others, like Brie’s friend Carmen, share their corn tortillas.

Q: Why do you write climate fiction? Do you believe that reading fiction can motivate people to change their thinking about climate change, or become more active on the issue?

A: I write about people struggling to overcome obstacles. In “Monarch Blue” those obstacles arise as a result of climate change.

It’s often said that personalizing abstract issues makes them more relatable and, consequently, more actionable. Two works, "Evicted: Poverty and Profit in the American City" by Matthew Desmond and "$2.00 a Day: Living on Almost Nothing in America" by Kathryn Edin and Luke Shaefer, come immediately to mind as excellent examples of narrative nonfiction. Each demonstrates the power of storytelling to influence public opinion and promote political action. In the same way, I think insightful fiction, especially thoughtful science fiction and its subgenre, climate fiction, can change lives by depicting dangerous future scenarios and motivating ordinary people to work together to solve them.

Q: What’s next for you? Do you have any new stories or books in the works?

A: I’m always thinking about stories, writing stories or, as people who know me well often complain, rewriting stories. Some of my ongoing projects include a short-story collection and novel about an 8-year-old cryptozoologist.

Q: Are there reasons to be hopeful, in the face of escalating climate chaos?

A: Recent reports on the state of our global environment are grim, and I find it hard not to feel frustrated and powerless when I read them. However, data collected by the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication offer glimmers of hope. More than 70 percent of respondents to Yale’s 2018 survey see global warming as a threat to plants and animals and future generations, and an even greater percentage support selected policies to combat or retard climate change.

One of the best pieces of news I’ve heard so far this year comes from Mexico’s national commissioner for protected natural areas, who reports that the population of monarch butterflies wintering in central Mexico is up 144 percent. So, yes, I trust in a future where clearheaded people, everywhere, join forces to stop environmental degradation.

Top illustration by Matt Phan/Center for Science and the Imagination

Joey Eschrich

program manager , Center for Science and the Imagination


Musicology professor’s new book illuminates pioneer of 20th-century music

February 8, 2019

Arizona State University School of Music Professor Sabine Feisst’s latest book is considered a major contribution of new scholarship on the life and music of Arnold Schoenberg, one of the most important and controversial figures in musical modernism and 20th-century music.

“Schoenberg's Correspondence with American Composers” is the first edition of all known and available letters between Schoenberg and over 70 American composers written between 1915 and 1951. The 950-page book reveals how Schoenberg’s music was flourishing in the United States and demonstrates his far-reaching connections to the American music world. Sabine Feisst Arizona State University School of Music Professor Sabine Feisst. Download Full Image

Schoenberg, a composer, music theorist, teacher and painter, often has been referred to as the “Einstein of music.” Born to a Jewish family in Vienna, he lived in Austria and Germany before immigrating to the United States in 1933 and resided here until his death in 1951. Schoenberg was committed to the advancement of American music and composed music inspired by and composed for American musicians.

Feisst’s most recent book is part of a nine-volume set, “Schoenberg in Words” (Oxford University Press), that she is co-editing with music theory Professor Severine Neff (University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill) and features Schoenberg’s theoretical writings and correspondence.

Feisst received a National Endowment for the Humanities research grant to complete her book and worked on the 10-year project while teaching numerous music history classes and publishing two other volumes.

There are currently four published volumes in the set — "Volume 9: Schoenberg’s Correspondence with American Composers" (2018); "Volume 8: Schoenberg’s Early Correspondence" (2016); "Volume 2: Schoenberg’s Models for Beginners in Composition" (2016); "Volume 5: Schoenberg’s Program Notes and Musical Analyses" (2016).

Feisst’s first book, “Schoenberg’s New World: The American Years” (2011), won the prestigious Society for American Music’s Lowens Award for the most outstanding book on American music. Called “a pioneering work of revisionist scholarship,” it is the first full-length study dedicated to Schoenberg's life and music in the United States. Feisst received research grants from both the German and U.S. governments to write the book.

Growing up in Germany, Feisst said Schoenberg was always discussed in high school and college. She was fascinated by him because his compositions were challenging, controversial and provocative. In college, she became intrigued with the history of German culture, the Holocaust and the fate of Jewish artists like Schoenberg and their families. 

“I found my research on Schoenberg very educational and enriching,” said Feisst. “Meeting his family, famous conductors of his music and his former students — seeing all his music from different angles. I read through letters to and from Schoenberg to discover all his different voices. There were so many interesting facets of his life that had not been covered in depth that led to my first book.”

Feisst was invited by Suzanne Ryan, the editor in chief of humanities at Oxford University Press, to develop and oversee the publication of the nine-volume set of Schoenberg’s writings in English translation because of his importance to music history and theory. The Schoenberg Center in Vienna has manuscripts of Schoenberg writings, but Feisst said most of them are in German and difficult to read. Her main task on the volumes authored by others is reviewing the English translations, fact-checking the annotations and guiding the overall form and narrative. Feisst said Ryan felt annotated editions of his writings would be a boon for the English-speaking music world, providing greater access to his musical ideas.

“Schoenberg’s career shows how the music can change the politics and how the politics can change the music,” said Feisst. “He was a trailblazer, especially in American music, inspiring many young composers to explore 12-tone music. Schoenberg had a major impact on the development of musical composition, which for over 200 years had built on tonal harmony. He invented new ways to organize pitch both harmonically and melodically. However, he never abandoned tonal composition. While pioneering new sound worlds using the 12-tone or “serial” technique, he wrote pieces with key signatures such as the Suite in G for strings and Theme and Variations for Wind Band in G minor. Schoenberg's compositions extend over a period of more than 50 years and comprise a wide variety of styles and genres.”

Feisst’s classes on exiled composers including Schoenberg, Bartók and Stravinsky show students how politics and history can drastically shape and change musical scenes. Music is not merely the result of the artists’ inner feelings, it is also determined by the place, environment and social milieu in which they create their music, Feisst said.

“In the early 20th century, America was mostly known for its popular music and musical theater,” said Feisst. “Schoenberg’s contributions to American music have inspired American composers to adventure into more modernist and avant-garde musical languages — advancing the idea that this country pushes the boundaries in the arts.”

More: BBC “Music Matters” interview with Sabine Feisst, Jan. 19, 2019

Lynne MacDonald

communications specialist, School of Music


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ASU acquires Holocaust poetry, artist's miniature book collection

February 1, 2019

Rare book collection unveiled at an event commemorating International Holocaust Remembrance Day

A collection of miniature artist’s books and a limited-edition English translation of poetry by a child Holocaust victim are now available for reading and viewing at ASU Library. The works by book artist, poet and illustrator Kelly M. Houle, a graduate of the Arizona State University creative writing program, were purchased recently via the Department of English’s Lamberts Memorial Rare Book Fund.  

“We were delighted to use our funds to acquire Kelly Houle’s work for the ASU Library,” said Krista Ratcliffe, Department of English chair. “The collection of handmade and miniature books ranges on subjects from classic literature to entomological illustration to Holocaust studies and will be of interest to students and researchers in design and printing, book arts, creative writing, history, and literature, among other areas.

“It’s really special to support the work of living artists,” Ratcliffe added. "And being able to collect the work of an alum is a bonus.”

Houle studied poetry at ASU, where she first became interested in book arts. She operates Books of Kell’s Press, a nonprofit dedicated to furthering “artistic beauty and intellectual openness, the ideas and values of Renaissance humanism, through the creation and distribution of small, handmade limited editions, original art and educational materials.” The press also raises funds for organizations that contribute to world literacy.

Keeping with its mission, the press recently completed “A Dream,” one of the volumes acquired by ASU as part of the Houle collection. It is the first English translation of poetry by the young Polish writer and Holocaust victim Abramek Koplowicz, who lived with his family in the Łódź ghetto during World War II.

Forced to work in a shoe factory, Koplowicz entertained himself and those around him with storytelling.

His writings, mostly poems and plays, would outlive the young writer, who died in Auschwitz, along with his mother, when he was 14 years old. Family members saved Koplowicz’s work.

Ratcliffe articulated the need to preserve and contextualize such work. “We recognize the importance of telling the stories of Holocaust victims,” she said. “We believe that keeping these stories in the collective consciousness helps us to remain vigilant against inhumanity. Kelly Houle’s book of translated poetry by a child victim is an important addition to this literature.”

In a collaboration that was local, global and then local again, Houle — who lives in Mesa — conceived, designed and illustrated this limited English edition of “A Dream” in collaboration with translators Sarah Lawson, who lives in London, and Małgorzata Koraszewska, who lives in Poland. The book was letterpress printed at Skyline Type Foundry in Prescott.

Houle was on the ASU Tempe campus Tuesday, Jan. 29 at an event commemorating International Holocaust Remembrance Day. Katherine Kryzs, curator of rare books and manuscripts for ASU Library welcomed attendees, and Alberto Ríos, a Regents’ Professor and director of the Virginia G. Piper Center for Creative Writing, introduced Houle, whom he mentored while she was a student at ASU.

Houle discussed the life of the young poet, Abramek Koplowicz, and the historical context in which he wrote. Danko Sipka, professor and faculty head of German, Romanian and Slavic languages in the School of International Letters and Cultures, performed a reading from the work in the original Polish. Houle then read the same poem's English translation. Houle’s books, as well as selections from the library’s Gerda Weissman and Kurt Klein Papers and Yizkor Books collections, were on display.

The other artist’s books of Houle’s acquired by the library are all miniature editions: “Poem of the Gifts” by Jorge Luis Borges, 2008; “Illusions” by Ralph Waldo Emerson, 2008; “Portrait of Basho,” 2008; “A Miniature Book of Illuminated Beetles,” Second Printing 2012; “The Artist of the Beautiful” by Nathaniel Hawthorne, 2014; and “Love is Enough” by William Morris, 2015.

ASU Library has separately purchased “Gracie’s Gallery,” a children’s pop-up book written and illustrated by Houle utilizing an “anamorphosis” technique as described by Leonardo da Vinci. The book was published by Piggy Toes Press in 2008.

ASU Now asked Houle a few additional questions about the impetus for her book arts projects and what she hopes for the future of the collection.

Close-up of the cover of "A Dream: Selected Poems" by Abramek Koplowicz, designed and illustrated by Kelly Houle, 2019. / Courtesy photo

Detail of the cover of "A Dream." The book is bound in deep blue “Starry Night” Cave Paper with mica shard inclusions. Photo courtesy Kelly Houle

Question: How did you learn about the existence of the poems by Abramek Koplowicz and become interested in this project?

Answer: I first read about the poems and the story behind them through my friend, the biologist and author Jerry Coyne. Jerry posted about the poems on his website Why Evolution is True. When I expressed interest in making them into a book, Jerry put me in touch with Małgorzata, who had done the Polish translations of his books. I remember being very moved by the story as it was presented there, and that’s what I hope to share with this book. 

Q: Do you have any personal connection to the people or subject matter?

A: Yes and no. My grandfather was one of the first U.S. troops to drive a tank across the Alps during World War II. As part of the 43rd Cavalry he saw the devastation of the war firsthand. He saw things he never wanted to talk about when he returned home. The experience changed him forever, and he suffered with PTSD for the rest of his life. That story has probably affected my interest in this work. I’m not Jewish. I was raised without religion, and so there were no indoctrinated feelings of "us and them" in our home. Science confirms what I instinctually feel when I see any human suffering, which is that we are all cousins. When I look at photos of children in the Holocaust, they seem familiar. I see the humanity in their faces. I see my cousins. 

Q: Tell us about the process of engaging with a text of this sort, on such a devastating topic. Did it ever seem too heavy or too much to complete?

A: Yes, the emotional weight of this project did affect the process. There were days I felt I had to force myself to think about it, to read the stories, to look through the photos. It would have been easy to look away, to let it go, but there was always an even greater pull to complete the work, which came from thoughts of Lolek, Abramek’s step-brother. We have kept him in our minds throughout this whole process. It was that, the dedication to Abramek and his story, and the immense responsibility of carrying his words that kept us going. 

Q: You have been a science teacher, poet and children’s book author. How did you become interested in book arts?

A: I became interested in book arts during my time in the MFA program at ASU. As a math and science enthusiast, I enjoyed the physical mechanics of books. I designed all of my earlier books with some type of movable or pop-up mechanism. "A Dream" is my first editioned book that doesn’t have anything like that. This book is pure printing and binding. Bookmaking is a way to integrate any subject matter with visual elements: the paper, the illustrations, decorative endpapers. Binding materials into a physical artifact that can be enjoyed as both a visual and tactile object. I think it’s that synthesis of idea and artifact that holds my interest in the book arts.

Q: How do you hope your books will be used now that they will be accessible through ASU Library's distinctive collections?

A: Many of these books are extremely rare, and simply not available to even purchase, so I hope that having a near-complete collection in ASU's distinctive collections will allow students and researchers to handle and experience the books as three-dimensional works of art in a way that viewing photos on the internet doesn't allow.

The Lamberts Memorial Rare Book Fund was named for former ASU professor of English J.J. Lamberts, a linguist who in pre-Internet days hosted a “grammar hotline” from his Tempe home. Lamberts passed away in 1992. Donations from individuals to the fund are used to purchase rare books for ASU Library’s special collections. For more information about how to make a gift to the fund, please visit English’s giving page.

Top photo: Kelly Houle holds a copy of her “Portrait of Basho,” 2008. Photo by Deanna Dent/ASU Now

Kristen LaRue-Sandler

communications specialist , Department of English


Winners announced for 9th Bösendorfer and Yamaha USASU International Piano Competition

February 1, 2019

The ninth Bösendorfer and Yamaha USASU International Piano Competition was held Jan. 13–20 at the Arizona State University School of Music. Dmytro Choni, Catherine Huang and Ruisi Lao took first place in their respective categories.

Recognized as being among the top piano competitions in the world, it attracted a total of 280 pianists from 35 different countries with 43 selected to perform in the semifinal and final rounds. Prizes included more than $50,000 in cash awards and recital performance opportunities for the top winners. Bosendorfer winners Hyo-Eun Park, Dmytro Choni and Peter Klimo. Download Full Image

The first prize in the Bösendorfer competition for pianists ranging in age from 19 to 32 was awarded to Dmytro Choni, 25, from Ukraine. He received the gold medal and the $15,000 David Katzin Award. He will be featured in a number of concerto performances with the Phoenix Symphony and will perform a recital in Merkin Hall at the Kaufman Music Center in New York as well as a recital for the Oracle Piano Society in Arizona. He began piano lessons at the age of 4 and is currently studying with Professor Milana Chernyavska at the University of Music and Performing Arts in Graz, Austria.

Hyo-Eun Park, 23, from the Republic of Korea took second place in the Bösendorfer competition and received the silver medal and the $10,000 Phyllis Chiat Award, named for a longtime arts advocate who loved classical music and the piano. Park started playing the piano at the age of 5 and is currently studying with Hie-Yon Choi at Seoul National University.

The third prize in the Bösendorfer competition went to Hungarian-American pianist Peter Klimo, 28, who received $5,000 and the bronze medal. Studying piano since the age of 9, Klimo is currently pursuing his Doctor of Musical Arts in Performance and Literature at the Eastman School of Music with Alan Chow.

In the Yamaha Senior Competition for pianists ages 16 through 18, Catherine Huang,16, from the United States received the Burns-Addona Award of $5,000 and the gold medal. In February 2018, she made her orchestral debut with the El Camino Youth Symphony. She studies with Professor Hans Boepple.

Second prize was awarded to Yongqiu Liu, 18, from the People’s Republic of China, who received $2,000 and the silver medal. She began her piano studies at the age of 4 and is currently an undergraduate piano student at the New England Conservatory of Music under Wha Kyung Byun.

The bronze medal and a $1,000 prize went to Yangrui Cai, 18, from the People’s Republic of China. He began his piano studies at the age of 4, has been a student of Professor Jay Sun and Vivian Li and currently attends the Xinghai Conservatory Middle School.

Pianists ages 13 through 15 comprised the Yamaha Junior Competition. Ruisi Lao, 13, from the People’s Republic of China, took home the $4,000 Addona-Burns Award and gold medal. Lao also won the Menahem Zohar Memorial Award of $250 for the most outstanding performance of a classical work and the Yehuda Meir memorial award of $250 for the most artistic performance of an etude by Chopin. He studies under professor Tang Zhe at the middle school affiliated with the Shanghai Conservatory of Music.

Kevin Cho, 15, from the United States, earned the silver medal and a $2,000 prize. He began his piano study when he was 4 years old and has been under the tutelage of Rufus Choi since 2013.

Katherine E. Liu, 14, from the United States, received the bronze medal and the $1,000 Linda and Sherman Saperstein Award. She started her musical journey at the age of 3 with her mother, Fumei Huang, a music educator, and currently studies with HaeSan Paik of the New England Conservatory.

Additional special award recipients from the competition were also announced. The Yehuda Meir memorial award of $250 for the most artistic performance of an etude by Chopin went to Polina Kulikova from Russia in the Bösendorfer competition.

The Sarra and Emmanuil Senderov Award of $500 for the most outstanding performance of a composition by a Russian composer went to Anastasia Rizikov from Canada in the Bösendorfer competition and Catherine Huang from the United States in the Yamaha competition.

Aushuang Li from the People’s Republic of China won the Sangyoung Kim Award of $1,000 for the most outstanding performance of a virtuoso work in the Bösendorfer competition. Li also received a $1,000 award for the most outstanding Arizona pianist, sponsored by National Society of Arts and Letters Arizona Chapter.

Xinran Wang from the People’s Republic of China won a special award of $1,000 for the best performance of a work by a French composer in the Bösendorfer competition.

There was a tie between Anastasia Rizikov from Canada, and Angie Zhang from the United States in the new $1,500 Mary Jane Trunzo Audience Favorite Award. The two winners were selected by the audience during the semifinal round.

This year’s jury included Sofya Gulyak, a Leeds International Piano Competition gold medalist; Faina Lushtak, Steinway Artist and professor of music and piano performance at Tulane University; Asaf Zohar, Tel Aviv University professor, Israeli pianist and pedagogue; Zhe Tang, vice dean and piano professor at the Shanghai Conservatory of Music; Robert Hamilton, internationally renowned pianist, recording artist and ASU professor; and Baruch Meir, ASU associate professor of piano and Bösendorfer Concert Artist.

“Our competition has become one of the leading piano competitions in the world today, alongside the Van Cliburn, Leeds and Arthur Rubinstein competitions,” said Meir, who is also the founder, president and artistic director of the competition. “Many of our competition winners have gone on to develop major musical careers. We are proud to assist these young pianists in achieving their dreams while focusing the musical world’s attention on Arizona. Our selected competitors come from some of the worlds’ leading music institutions, including Juilliard, Yale, Shanghai Conservatory and the Royal College of Music, as well as ASU.”

This biennial competition is considered one of the best in the world and welcomes the public to experience great performances by these talented young artists. The weeklong event is held at the ASU School of Music in the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts in collaboration with the Phoenix Symphony and the Arizona Young Artist Committee.

Heather Landes, director of the ASU School of Music, and Steven Tepper, dean of the Herberger Institute for Design and the Arts, congratulated all the winners and commended each participant in this year’s competition. “We are pleased to host an international competition of the caliber of the Bösendorfer and Yamaha USasu International Piano Competition at the ASU School of Music,” Landes said. “The competition serves as a springboard for the development of the next generation of young artists and provides us with a reminder of the transformative power of music.”

The opening gala for the competition was held on Jan. 13 in ASU’s Katzin Hall, and featured guest pianist and jury member Sofya Gulyak, who won first prize and the Princess Mary Gold Medal at the 16th Leeds International Piano Competition in England.

All of the solo performances of the Bösendorfer Competition were held at Katzin Hall on Jan. 14, 15 and 17. The final round was held at the Mesa Center for the Arts in the Ikeda Theater on Jan. 20, with finalists showcased playing a concerto with the Phoenix Symphony, under conductor Matthew Kasper. The announcement of the winners and the presentation of medals and Bösendorfer awards took place immediately following the performance.

The semifinal and final rounds for the Yamaha Senior and Junior competition took place Jan. 16 and 18 and the winners’ recital and awards ceremony took place at Jan. 19 in Katzin Hall.

The winners were presented with medals individually handcrafted and designed by OT Jewelers of Mesa, Arizona, another generous sponsor.

For complete information about this year’s competition visit pianocompetition.music.asu.edu or contact the competition office by email at pianocompetition@asu.edu or phone at 480-965-8740.

Reprinted with permissions by Yamaha Corporation, Giles Communications and the ASU School of Music.